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Old 10-07-2016, 10:15 PM   #1
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So what's your take on grey water usage for black water tanks

I'll give you a link so you can quickly read the article, am curious to hear your feedback. I think the toilet bowl would become greasy, I think the idea is a good one but for some reason something inside of me reacts against it, don't know why:

Avoiding the Dump Station Blues - RV Life
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:14 PM   #2
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Hmmm... Interesting article/concept I generally do very little dry camping but if I was a serious or regular boondocker I would definitely consider the idea. And yes, I think there may be potential for some form of residual contamination in the hopper!

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Old 10-07-2016, 11:24 PM   #3
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I would not worry to much about the grease on the toilet from the gray tank. a brush and a little dish soap should take care of that. Would it be worth it? It depends on how much dry camping you do. I have a valve that I can hook on the sewer outlet and after the black tank is empty I leave the valve open and close the valve on the outlet. Then I open the valve to the gray tank and the gray water goes up into the black tank then I open the outlet valve which lets the black tank drain. it is like a back flush and really cleans the black tank good. I only do this if there is no water to hook up to my flusher. Generally If we dry camp it is at a camground with pit toilets so we are not using the black tank that much. although I can see where a setup like that could save emptying the gray tank.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:43 PM   #4
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Many dry campers/boondockers do exactly that to some extent - recycle their dish water into the toilet. However, I think recycling the shower water is overkill. Black tanks are usually smaller than grey tanks and they'll hold only so much grey water. We have captured the excess water when adjusting the water temperature for the shower and used it for dishes. It's clean water out of the faucet so no different than running the kitchen sink. We usually boondocked for about two weeks and all this does help.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:52 PM   #5
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Most fresh water tanks are smaller capacity then total waste tank capacity

If you have a common drain waste tank drain header and extra valve installed (Or twist on valve at end of drain line) allows you to combine all waste tanks.

Doing this and you will run out of fresh water before filling waste tanks to capacity.

On extra valve is all that is needed. Uses no power and takes up no usable space.
Simple..........
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:03 AM   #6
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The one thing that bothers me is the three way valve so you can send either fresh or gray to the potty. Big chance for contamination of the fresh water if you don't have some really good check valves and vacuum breakers. Just something to be very careful about.

A simple 5 micron filter should get rid of any thing you don't want sticking to the potty.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:42 AM   #7
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I would rather install more fresh water capacity than try to cross plumb grey to black. I added a simple flexible 40 gal marine tank and can easily boondock for 10+ days on a total of 100 fresh gallons (paper,plastic,navy showers)
only fill it when I need it
can put it in toad and transfer if necessary
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:49 AM   #8
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The one thing that bothers me is the three way valve so you can send either fresh or gray to the potty. Big chance for contamination of the fresh water if you don't have some really good check valves and vacuum breakers. Just something to be very careful about.

A simple 5 micron filter should get rid of any thing you don't want sticking to the potty.
My concerns also. I want an air gap between the waste water system and potable.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:38 AM   #9
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When we dry camp, we will quite often dump the dish water down the toilet. In AZ, it is legal to dump grey water on BLM land, when the grey tank is getting full, I hook a garden hose to the discharge and let the grey water "slowly" drain and water a tree, cactus, or other plants. The plants are happy and there is no mess. I carry an 30 gallon auxiliary fresh water tank in our trailer with a transfer pump. With a total of 120 gallons of fresh water, we can easily stay for two weeks without skimping on shawers etc.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:12 AM   #10
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When we dry camp, we will quite often dump the dish water down the toilet. In AZ, it is legal to dump grey water on BLM land, when the grey tank is getting full, I hook a garden hose to the discharge and let the grey water "slowly" drain and water a tree, cactus, or other plants. The plants are happy and there is no mess. I carry an 30 gallon auxiliary fresh water tank in our trailer with a transfer pump. With a total of 120 gallons of fresh water, we can easily stay for two weeks without skimping on shawers etc.
When we started camping with a TT in 1968, You could dump grey water on the ground, in most states. My wife and I started noticing that many campers were leaving handfuls of food waste on the ground. We always wiped out the plates and cookware with paper towels before washing. When we left, there was a damp spot on the ground and that was all. Sure enough before many years went by, All the states passed laws against grey water dumping on the ground. Next we noticed that all the states were putting in dump stations, on the interstate rest areas. The next thing you know there were coke cans stuck in the drains, waste strewn everywhere and not cleaned up. Now many states are closing the dump stations. It seems a few people always ruin it for the majority.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:13 AM   #11
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actually i do with the same concept - when boondocking, i put a large ladle in the bathroom sink, a small open top container in the kitchen sink, to catch the relative clean water such as rinse water. before turning on the shower, i use a shallow basin to catch the cold water before the hot water arrives. all of those water is used for toilet. though it's all manual processes, it works and easy.
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:15 PM   #12
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It's a fine line between black and grey water. In AZ, the grey water is considered "Black" water if there is food particles being dumped. That is why I dump ever so slowly so the food particles do not move. Just a trickle for an hour or more. When in a hurry, a screen filter can be used and just clean the screen when back home. I do not do it often, but when in a pinch, it can extend your stay.
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:11 PM   #13
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If you're living on a tight fresh water budget, great idea. Use caution on how the plumbing is switched between gray and fresh for flushing purposes, as you don't want to contaminate your fresh water.

IDEA - Rather than a valve or something to switch between gray and fresh, maybe look at drilling a hole in the toilet and install a second flush nozzle The second nozzle could have its own pump and the source could be the gray tank. Doing it like this, there is no physical connection between the gray and the fresh and ZERO chance of cross contamination from any backflow.
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